Please note that Peter’s correspondence below was written by the feeling-being ‘Peter’ while ‘he’ lived in a pragmatic (methodological), still-in-control/same-way-of-being Virtual Freedom before becoming actually free.

Selected Correspondence Peter


PETER: Just a comment with regard to your recent post on the topic of relationship. You wrote in response to Gary –

GARY: On the subject of my ‘relationship’ with my partner, the matter gets a bit stickier. Since my need to affiliate with other human beings in groups has greatly lessened, to the point of almost being totally absent, I have wondered at times if I transferred these feelings on to my partner and whether I am clinging to her to get these self-same needs met. I do enjoy our being together, and I look forward to our weekends and holidays together, even our simple presence together in the evening when the day is done is very enjoyable. To be honest: I do find myself clinging to her at times with feelings of ‘love’ and affection. Yet I can say that for every moment in which there is this feeling of love and affection, there are counterpoised moments when the invidious passions are in evidence: resentment, peevishness, annoyance. In short, malice. It increases my feeling that you cannot have the positive, loving emotions without having the whole instinctual package. At least, that’s the way I think of it at this point. In other words, the entire package needs to be deleted.

So, I guess where this leaves me is to say that I think the closest thing I have to a ‘normal relationship’ is my relationship with my partner. It is here that the instinctual passions of nurture and desire occur most clearly and cleanly, compared to my other everyday ‘relationships’. To sum this all up: it seems to me that a ‘relationship’ is about sharing joy and sorrow, sharing the complete pathos and movement of human emotion and human feeling. If one is freeing oneself from the Human Condition, does one need or desire relationships then? In an actual intimacy, is there any ‘relationship’ with the other that one is relating to? Is there any ‘connection’ at all, or is this entirely absent? These are just a couple of the questions that occur. Gary to Peter, 8.2.2002

RESPONDENT: I too find that the partner relationship is where we really test the mettle. At this juncture, I don’t have the child-rearing compulsion to interfere with the simple facts of the nature of the relationship, and that has created (or exposed perhaps) some turmoil. Semi-amusing anecdote: I’ve been pondering the questions raised by my investigation into AF, particularly in the notion of ‘love’. My SO asks the loaded question ‘Do you love me?’, and I responded innocently enough ‘I’m not sure what love is’. Wrong answer. The ensuing ‘situation’ may however precipitate some earnest discussion. Without going into gory details, I did discover that some of my behaviour of late has definitely included an element of malice towards her, cloaked in an air of righteousness.

PETER: I particularly like what you have discovered because it is an experiential observation and understanding of your own feelings and not a mere intellectual understanding of someone else’s experience – and there is a world of difference between the two.

I particular remember how shocked I was when, despite years of spiritual practice, I became very angry over a trivial matter. It was as though a crack had suddenly opened up in my oh-so-righteous persona and, although it was an uncomfortable experience, it provided an invaluable insight into the hidden deep-seated passions that lay just under the surface.

If I can elaborate a bit on your observation – what normally prevents such clear observations from occurring is the human social conditioning and the feeling of righteousness is particularly common for those who have imbibed religious or spiritual conditioning. Because of these spiritual feelings, it is extremely rare to find anyone who is capable of, let alone willing to, admit that they have malicious feelings towards others. If they do admit to feeling malicious, it is almost always cloaked in some form of self-righteous justification, as in ‘it was the other’s fault’, ‘I was simply sharing my feelings’, or even ‘I was doing it for their own good’.

The other major factors that prevent such clear observations form occurring are the socially imposed feelings of guilt and shame. As children, all humans are trained to feel guilty and shameful if they think or feel wrong or evil thoughts and we subsequently learn the games of deceit and denial as a way of avoiding blame and/or punishment. Because of the tenacity of this childhood programming it is vital for an actualist to both understand and experientially observe that the feelings, emotions and passions that constantly arise are the human condition in action and not one’s personal fault.

By conducting your investigations with this understanding in mind you are conducting an investigation in a hands-on scientific down-to-earth manner, free of any moral or ethical judgements of good or bad, right or wrong. By investigating the human condition in action in you – and as ‘you’ – you also avoid the traditional spiritual trap of creating yet another identity, a superior ‘real you’ who then observes a supposedly ‘illusionary you’.

You will find this business of becoming aware of your social/spiritual persona is not a one-off understanding but an ongoing process. You will become continually aware of whenever you think you are right and the other is wrong, when you feel as though you are being good and the other is being bad. You will find that these feelings arise because of beliefs you have been taught to be universal truths and you will become fascinated as you unearth and acknowledge the facts of how ‘you’ have been socially and instinctually programmed to think and feel.

Of course, you have to be sure that this is what you want to do with your life, because once you launch yourself into this process you will never be the same again.

RESPONDENT: I’m starting to see that it is always ‘happy and harmless’, it’s a package deal.

PETER: Again, this is one of the most crucial understandings in actualism and one that clearly separates it from all of the past failed methods to find a way to become free of malice and sorrow. The pursuit of happiness has been a long and fruitless search thus far for human beings solely because everyone has put their own happiness first and being harmless second – if being harmless gets a look in at all, that is.

Once you begin to observe in yourself the malicious element of merely pursuing your own happiness you also begin to see that it is normal behaviour within the human condition, i.e. everybody blames someone else for being the cause of their unhappiness and blaming others can only be a malicious act. And then you begin to see that this ultimately ‘self’-centred focus on ‘my’ happiness is why human beings do not, and cannot, live together in peace and harmony.

Speaking personally, it was the desire to be harmless that attracted me to begin the process of actualism and it was the desire to be harmless that has provided all of the impetus to push on beyond the limits of the measly ‘self’-centred pursuit of happiness only.

RESPONDENT: If someone comes along and robs me from my money, do I call the police on my cell phone? I, the social identity, am my country, I am the police and the army of my nation, as these are an extension of ‘me’ saying this is ‘mine’.

PETER: Speaking personally, I concentrated on investigating my own feelings and emotions about possessions, when and as they occurred. This way I was able to look at issues such as jealousy, envy, desire, greed, resentment, hypocrisy, deceit, pride, etc. as they occurred, and by doing so I was able to work my way through my social programming and down into the very survival passions themselves. This type of investigation is not something you can only think about because it then becomes a philosophy and philosophy is about the pursuit of knowledge and ‘truth’, not about experience and hands-on doing.

RESPONDENT: The moment I agree to have tasks assigned to a second party with regard to ensuring, either my own security at large or my properties and/or possessions, I must allow for hypocrisy. That’s how my social identity ticks. Demolishment of that ... ... is it possible at all?

PETER: The other alternative to having others do things for you is to do everything yourself, for example making your own candy bars, building your own computer, catching the thief should someone steal these things and so on. This is the ideal of self-sufficiency that is proposed as an alternative to the mutual trading of food, goods and information between fellow human beings. The hills around here are alive with the sounds of people building their mud brick homes and chopping wood for their log fires, in a desperate attempt to be self-sufficient. None succeed completely for the ideal is unliveable – when the going gets tough they tend to rely on neighbours for help, revert to modern technology for survival and comfort and, of course, call on the police for protection.

What you have discovered is that you feel yourself to be a hypocrite because you fail to live up to an unliveable ideal. You may identify with this ideal as being ‘mine’, an integral part of your social identity, but by holding on to this ideal you are holding on to feelings such as guilt, shame, blame, self-righteousness, self-flagellation, perplexity and so on.

It might be useful to consider that actualism has nothing to do with the failed pie-in-the-sky idealisms that are preached by the self-righteous – actualism offers a radical alternative to the fantasy and hypocrisy of ‘if only everyone would ...’ The process of actualism is pragmatic in that it is solely – and I do mean solely – about changing yourself, the only person it is possible for you to change.

RESPONDENT: Living identified with a spiritual ego largely means assuming that I no longer have the ‘bad’ qualities that can be ascribed to my instinctual nature, thus disowning those qualities, calling it being unattached. In order to create the illusion of being without any social identity, I have to suppress my hypocrisy which is indeed a very difficult task, as self-observation readily is to bring it to light.

PETER: Why would you want to create the illusion of being without a social identity, when this only creates the feeling of hypocrisy? Having discovered that your feelings of hypocrisy are due to ideals that are an integral component of your social identity you now have a plain and simple choice.

RESPONDENT: Keeping in mind that often the corrupting factor in a sect mainly are money and/or power, also keeping in mind that the number of followers/ members/ supporters/ sponsors (granted that they are militant) of a sect largely determines their potential destructive impact iow, the poorer the followers the less harmful to their environment, the richer the more dangerous.

PETER: This does beg the question as to whether people living in poverty are less harmful to their environment including their fellow human beings than the rich. From my visits to poor countries and from my reading I see no evidence of this. There is currently far less pollution in wealthier countries than in poor countries as well as marginally less overt crime and corruption, although the latter seems entirely due to the increased likelihood of detection and punishment.

RESPONDENT: Also as the current issue seems to be ‘guilt’, this being fairly acknowledged by me as to be a general, not a major issue of the human condition as it concerns equally the male and the female aspects of being here as a being in 2002.

PETER: And the feeling of guilt is found in every culture as well as it is fundamental to all religious/spiritual belief. Everyone is instilled with a social conscience, be they male or female, white or black, Christian or Hindu, Rajneeshee or Krishnamurtiite. And beneath this social conscience, lies a more fundamental guilt, the guilt that arises from being conscious of one’s underlying instinctual animal passions – the compulsive urges of fear, aggression, nurture and desire.

RESPONDENT: Most of my life I have put the ‘blame’ on the male part of humanity for making such a mess of this planet, hence my relationship with men always carried subtly traces of either finding them guilty or feeling myself guilty but because of my ‘awareness’ that women were better I always found myself a little better so less guilty.

Vineeto put it very well the other day when she wrote –

[Vineeto]: ‘Quite a few men have adopted the female-generated belief that women are naturally more caring whilst men are instinctually more aggressive.’ Vineeto to No 23, 24.8.2002

I fell for that one for quite a while and it was reinforced by my immersion in Eastern spiritualism with its Ying-Yang belief. The male-female divide runs deep since most of the old spirit forces and Gods were either male or female, most of the societal structures were divisively either male of female, most of the responsibilities and tasks were split into either male or female.

But it’s a fascinating time to be alive since in an increasing number of societies these old divides are crumbling and we can clearly see that nearly all of the supposed differences between male and female are founded on belief and not on fact.

RESPONDENT: From this feeling better I never was able to ‘compete’ like so-called real man do and found the way they generally treated women repulsive.

PETER: The school playground taught me this very early on but I was only emboldened to try something different when I discovered over the years that ‘becoming less male and more feminine’ did nothing to bridge the divide between the sexes. To attempt to switch sides in the game or continually try to walk a middle path only means you are still a player in the game.

RESPONDENT: When coming up home link G:\ACTUAL FREEDOM\VINEETO.HTM after having typed in guilt I came to read about Vineeto’s observation; vis:

[Vineeto]: ‘Male solutions fail because they are male. Give women the power and they will solve the world’s problems!’ [endquote]


[Vineeto]: ‘Women claimed to be better than men but would still fight exactly the same petty power battles between each other as men did. And if lesbianism was supposed to be the solution, I saw that it still had jealousy, competition, dependency and all the other problems of heterosexual relationships.’ (full quotes see A Bit of Vineeto)

I shan’t comment on Vineeto’s observations except to say that living with a woman who has dared to investigate and eliminate her social and instinctual female programming is grand indeed. But of course, being born a man, your job is to investigate and eliminate your male social and instinctual programming and by doing so you get to understand the whole picture – both gender’s programming is inexorably intertwined in that it both creates and reinforces separate gender identities and, as such, sustains the gender divide.

RESPONDENT: As for solving the world problem I have left the idealist mode, only when living with the facts as they are I can understand my current situation from a social perspective so to speak mainly concerning the question: [what is my relationship to the fellow-being that is closest this moment?] i.e. when coming into a bar, restaurant.

PETER: From the perspective of a PCE, the ‘world problem’ is seen as being totally ‘self’-imposed, the result of some 6 billion ‘selfs’ each battling it out with each other in a grim instinctual ‘self’-centred battle for survival. Everyone has had at least one PCE in their lifetime – a brief experience of the utter peacefulness, perfection and purity of the actual world whereupon ‘me’, ‘my’ worries and ‘my’ ‘self’-centred feelings have disappear, as if by magic.

However, most of these pure experiences only serve as fuel to the ‘self’-centredness of the spiritual/religious beliefs that permeate the human condition. Either during a PCE or soon after, there comes the conviction that ‘I’ am a pure, noble and all-knowing being and everyone else is guilty, pitiable and ignorant. As a consequence, feelings of knowing the solutions to the world’s problems or even of being the next Saviour of Mankind are par for the course for those who selfishly claim the pure consciousness experience as their own.

This issue was in my face constantly in my initial explorations into the human condition – in the first few months, the more I discovered about how the human condition operated, the more I was tempted to want to change others. It required constant effort and attentiveness to remind myself that I was in this business solely to change me and not to change others.

RESPONDENT: I have only a general game plan so far and it goes like this.

  • Try to get into bare awareness. This means setting up a habit of questioning the habit of ‘me’ in the drivers seat. ‘How am I....’ Does a fine job at this and I/ it can even overcome any problems with asking the question in the first place. Self though must learn to ask the question remembering that the pain of emotion belongs to self and not the question. Revealing self will inevitably reveal the pain of self. Remember the undoing of any emotional complex is of great reward and well worth the effort.
  • Look and learn, see how the network of ‘me’ hangs together. Give particular attention to those aspects which form the cement of ‘me’ namely emotions and instincts.

The following is New for me:

  • Label them and add them to the task list, marked for elimination, in order of priority. Priority is worked out by determining which aspect is most of a problem.

PETER: Good to hear from you. You seem to be having great fun.

RESPONDENT: Indeed, at first when I heard that investigation into ‘me’ would be a wonderful adventure I couldn’t really see how, as emotions are sometimes hard to deal with. With bare awareness in full swing though, everything becomes fuel for a curious mind.

PETER: I found an advertisement in the local spiritual magazine that states very clearly the distinction between the spiritual approach to dealing with the emotions arising from morals, ethics, beliefs and animal instinctual passions and that of an actualist. I know there is an enormous amount written on the Actual Freedom Trust website about this subject but every now and again something catches my eye that blatantly exposes the spiritual approach of actively creating a new identity who transcends or rises above the unwanted bad or savage passions.

The advertisement is for a 4-day workshop entitled ‘Dis-identification’ – Letting Go of Self Hatred.

He writes in his introductory section –

[quote]: As I was driving yesterday, I remembered something that made me feel anger arising – not angry – still far away from me, like you would see a theatre actor getting angry. I know that if I start to get closer to ‘it’, getting identified little by little, soon it will be racing towards me like an avalanche. The feeling of anger will start reaching me, then my jaw will start clenching ... But now is not the case, as long as I don’t identify. An easy way for me is to start feeling receptive, feminine in that moment – pulling, – as I play with the rising anger. Suddenly there is a moment when where I laugh, making a funny face to the thought and the anger, and immediately something else arises like joy and clarity with great power though, getting the energy from the anger that would be. Big insight, BANG! This actually happened. It’s good as an example. The rising feeling can be one of the lot. It starts far away inside of us and if we cannot stay with awareness we will identify and soon we will become that. <Snip> During the work, as if magically, the space inside would start getting bigger and the idea of time getting less. Suddenly in that new time-space, the emotion, the suffering would feel unreal and would drop. Something of the beyond would shine through – Ram, Tibetan Pulsing, Here&Now 5/2000

This description very well describes the spiritual practice of disidentifying from unwanted and undesirable emotions and identifying with the wanted and desirable emotions. The undesirable real-world identity is transcended and a new desirable spiritual identity is created. The newly formed spiritual identity dis-identifies with the old identity and becomes aware of and suppresses, pushes away or ignores the unwanted emotions. This is not a bare awareness operating but an identity splitting itself into two – one good half being aware of the other bad half. To call this action awareness is to misuse the term as the awareness is so selective it would be best termed as occultation or denial. It is this very labelling and judging of feelings and emotions as good or bad, right or wrong, desirable or undesirable that prevents an active and equal investigation of all emotions and their instinctual roots.

This is why it is essential to dismantle the morals and ethics we have been instilled with since birth that deem anger a bad thing and that it is wrong to be angry. In the spiritual world, these morals and ethics become even stronger, such that the writer of the passage above cannot even say he is being angry. He uses the term – ‘ feel anger arising’. Unless one is prepared to investigate the validity and sensibility of moral and ethical standards, any in-depth investigation into one’s own psyche is impossible. It does seem madness to abandon the very glue that appears to keep society safe and keeps a lid on rampant violence and that stops one from running amok.

But three facts clearly indicate a new approach is necessary –

  • Firstly the continual failure of moral and ethics to bring anything vaguely resembling peace and harmony to any human interactions and, if one is honest, in one’s own life.
  • Secondly, the fact that the self-imposition of morals and ethics – one’s social identity – in reality becomes a straight-jacket that one yearns to be free from.
  • Thirdly, we know from our pure consciousness experiences that purity and perfection is possible when ‘me’ and all ‘my’ passions are temporarily absent.

The first point means that the honest seeker of freedom, peace and happiness will not settle for a suppression or transcendence of unwanted or undesirable emotions.

The second point means that the honest seeker of freedom, peace and happiness will not merely swap one set of morals and ethics for another for he or she will be acutely aware that the ‘becoming spiritual’ option is merely adopting another identity and another even more insidious form of entrapment. All people are instilled with spiritual-based morals and ethics and everyone who has sought freedom has developed a spiritual identity to varying degrees which is why the elimination of one’s social identity is the primary focus of an actualist. The clue to morals and ethics in action are feelings such as guilt, shame, embarrassment and resentment on the one hand and pride, piousness, arrogance and condescension on the other. So much conflict, dissension, confusion and obscuration is caused by a stubborn unwillingness to rigorously examine the facticity and effectiveness of the morals, ethics and beliefs we are instilled with since birth. Most of the objections to being happy and harmless on the Actual Freedom Trust website go no deeper than obstinate and superficial objections on the basis of right and wrong, good and bad rather than a mutual discussion based on what is silly and what is sensible, what is belief and what is fact. Only by eliminating one’s social identity can one eliminate the constant flood of minor feelings, emotions and worries thus leaving one free to tackle one’s instinctual being, ‘me’ at my core.

The third point means the pure consciousness experience gives one the knowledge and confidence that not only is it possible to live without the burden of ‘self’-centred instinctual passions, it is essential to do so in order to directly experience the already and always existing peace on earth.

It is interesting to look back on the process and the stages I went through in investigating feelings, emotions and instinctual passions. With each emotion I investigated it was always an essential first step to investigate the goods and bads, the rights and wrongs, and all the things I had been told and thus assumed to be true – my beliefs. I know we keep flogging this aspect but unless one undertakes this process any investigation will be superficial and offer only a temporary relief of the symptoms without ever tackling the underlying cause of the instinctual passions.

What I am suggesting is to be alert to the feelings that arise from one’s instilled morals, ethics, beliefs and values, for these are the first line of ‘self’ defence that needs to be tackled. This is where labelling and making sense of the feelings and emotions is vital for then you can make sense of the apparently arbitrary and chaotic jumble that arises. One begins to see patterns and traits that are common to all human beings and that give rise to the human condition in operation in yourself as well as others. My experience was that these feelings associated with my social identity were the easiest to tackle and the confidence gained from the success in tackling them was fuel for digging deeper – and the freedom gained was deliciously palpable.


RESPONDENT: It is more than that. Emotions do feel physically bad, that is why most people can justify why they have to keep those bad things at bay.

PETER: With morals and ethics firmly in place we also get a double whammy – the physical sensations of chemical surges related to the passions and then the associated bad feelings due to our ethics and morals – anger comes with guilt and shame, love comes with duty, responsibility, resentment and possessiveness, fear comes with withdrawing, denial, false bravado or frustration, desire comes with competitiveness or guilt, etc. This observation is the very key to investigating both the tender and the savage emotions. It is only by making sense of one’s own psyche in action that freedom is at all possible.


PETER to No 3: It’s interesting to dig around and to see the real-world views on aggression and to see what the psychiatrists and sociologists, theoretical biologists and evolutionary biologists, are making of instinctual aggressiveness. The spiritual search is based on the notion that ‘you can’t change human nature’, hence the search for one’s divine (non-human) nature or true Self – and the same premise operates in the real-world, hence the continual need to be ever on-guard, lest one runs amok.

What I found was that the harmless part of wanting to be happy and harmless was the key in pushing myself beyond what I considered safe limits – beyond the normal definition of aggressiveness into questioning the need for ‘me’ to be assertive in order for ‘me’ to survive, to get what ‘I’ wanted, to get ‘my’ way in every situation. In order to move into these areas of ‘self’-examination it is clear that one needs to firstly investigate and abandon the moral and ethical restraints that cause the welling-up of feelings of shame and guilt simply for having felt these savage passions in the first place. Guilt and shame are crippling and debilitating feelings, an integral part of one’s instilled social identity.

To go beyond these feelings is a daring action and a clue is to see one’s inner investigation as an investigation of the Human Condition in operation in one’s own psyche. To see the instinctual passions as no fault of yours; you are not bad or evil for thinking these thoughts, for having these feelings, for being blindly driven to want to act this way. Keep your hands in your pockets, neither expressing nor repressing the passions, but observing them in action inside – knowing that what is going on is only in your head and your heart.

What fascinating explorations – to see how ‘I’ operate and to actually feel ‘me’ in action. This seeing, this investigation, is the very ending of ‘me’ for all the mystique, mystery, cunningness and deviousness is exposed to the light of sensible understanding.

There is an enormous dare in being here, in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are – free of the instinctual passions, held to be necessary in order to survive, and free of the crutch of having ‘God by one’s side’ for protection.

Well, enough for now. I just wanted to write a bit about the putting into action of actualism – for to treat it as a philosophy is to miss the main event and thereby completely miss out on the rewards of becoming actually happy and harmless.


PETER: Once you begin to really get a grip on the fact that it is only ‘me’ who is ruining my only chance of being happy in this moment, you simultaneously begin to break the ingrained habit of blaming others and being angry at others for seemingly causing me to be unhappy ... and by doing so you then begin to become more and more harmless towards others.

And as you have more and more tangible success with running the question ‘How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?’ you soon discover that, despite ‘my’ fears, ‘I’ am happily agreeing to ‘my’ demise – which is what you referring to in your comment to Gary.

RESPONDENT: I recall that when I first start running the question some 2 years ago (I think) there was a great objection to running the question. Now it is more than not, an immediate reward with the exception of the occasional guilty feeling when I realize that I had dropped the ball for some time.

PETER: Guilt I know well. I was amazed to find, when I started to abandon my spiritual beliefs, morals and ethics, that they had simply been layered over my Christian beliefs, morals and ethics. And guilt belongs in the stick part of the carrot and stick in the Christian religion – typified by the pathos-ridden fairy story of the Son of God dying for our sins. Personally I didn’t worry about guilt too much because by becoming aware that I had dropped the ball for sometime I was instantly back in business again, which was clearly a success and not a failure.

GARY: In a recent post, No 8 wrote –

[Jane Roberts]: But the information is fascinating. Seth is no advocate of irresponsibility; he declares you are absolutely responsible for every minuscule event that ever happens to you. The archives of every word he spoke have been stored at Yale University and physicists are studying his probability theory which you can read about in a book titled Bridging Science and Spirituality. ‘The Nature of Personal Reality’ Seth via J.Roberts

In reply, you wrote –

[Peter]: ‘I’ll pass No 8, although I did put my foot in my mouth in a post to Gary entitled ‘disembodied morals’.’ Peter to No 8, 24.7.2000

It’s a rather big foot, Peter, and I was wondering if you might like to reply. I called it the ‘sticking point’, because I feel there is a point that most of us get to when we are severely challenged and up against something that refuses to budge. Faced with an adversary who is intent on putting an end to your life at the point of a gun or some other equally potent weapon, it is interesting to speculate as to whether one would respond instinctually with a ‘kill or be killed’ mentality or whether something else would happen, something more akin to intelligence and common sense. Of course, I may be neglecting to recognize that common sense might dictate speedily dispatching the onerous adversary with a well placed shot. A kind of ‘putting him out of his misery’, as it were.

Pardon the gallows humour.

I am really quite surprised that you replied to me that you would not hesitate to respond ‘aggressively’. I can only conclude that since you told No 8 you put your foot in your mouth you feel you made a faux pas. Well, if it is a mistake, I don’t want to make too much of it. Perhaps the scenario I described of being faced with imminent loss of life by a violent opponent is where the rubber meets the road for an actualist. If one has thoroughly self-immolated, and as I am aware of no one who has achieved this feat save for Richard, I should think there would be no aggression involved at all. In other words, there would be no adrenalin rush, no fight-or-flight response, no desperate pleading for your life to be saved, no hair trigger ‘shoot first’ reaction, like in all the cowboy pictures we were raised on. With no fear on board the physiological organism, a fervent imagination leads me to two possible conclusions: 1.) one would be as ‘calm as a cucumber’ and able to defuse the most violent of confrontations, skilfully using the wastage of energy generated by the opponents’ wrath, or 2.) one would most likely perish and be quite unconcerned with it, as one is devoid of a sense of being a personal ‘I’ that needs defending. Rhetorical questions and speculations aside, few of us are actually faced with anything like this. Not to say that we might not be at some relatively near point in the future, if war breaks out, which, considering the history of world, is certainly possible. It is a wonderful distraction to consider these questions, but I don’t want to belabour the point. It is far more interesting and vital work to consider how to deal with the situations that are actually facing me than concoct a hypothetical situation to speculate about.

If you would care to respond, you might comment on whether or not you were caught unawares when you responded in that way by saying ‘aggressively’. It was a rather revealing remark, as I think we are all in that boat, unless of course we are in Actual Freedom.

PETER: It looks as though we have a crossed-post situation where I have answered most of the points you raised by answering your first post on the subject. At the moment I am quite busy working so I tend to be slow in my responses if the inbox gets full. I also like to respond in reasonable detail to questions raised which was another reason that I was attempting to pass on the longish piece of Sethism that No 8 posted, but it looks as though my attempt failed. You quoted No 8 –

[Jane Roberts]: ‘Seth is no advocate of irresponsibility; he declares you are absolutely responsible for every minuscule event that ever happens to you.’ ‘The Nature of Personal Reality’ Seth via J.Roberts

Common to most spiritual/ religious teachings is the moral principle that everyone is responsible for their actions, whereas one only has to take a clear-eyed look at the sacred teachings to discover that this is not so in fact.

In monotheist religions the issue is very clear. There is one God only, usually a creator God, and everyone is ultimately judged by this Big Daddy who offers the carrot of a heavenly after-life, or the stick of a hellish after-life.

This threat of Divine punishment and the promise of Divine reward ultimately means that everyone is responsible only to God for his or her actions and to no-one else. Thus a mythical God becomes one’s ultimate authority and the beleaguered believers dance to the tune of their God as well as His or Her earthly representatives – the Popes, Bishops, priests, Gurus and God-men, pundits, teachers, etc. When my God is ‘The one and only God’ it means that all other Gods are impostors, fakes and competitors, and those who follow other Gods are therefore non-believers, heathens or barbarians.

This battle of the ‘I-am-the-one-and-only’ type Gods has meant that millions upon millions upon millions of impassioned believers have attacked, slaughtered, maimed, killed and tortured other human beings in thousands upon thousands of pogroms, missions, retributions cleansings, wars and crusades, that have gone on for at least 3,500 years of recorded history. This senseless violence, spawned of religious belief, is still on-going with no sign of abating as all the prayers for peace on earth to these self-same mythical Gods have curiously gone unanswered.

In the monotheist system violence and killing is not only condoned as in ‘I’m fighting for God’ or ‘I lay down my life for God’ but it is Glorified in that the very action of killing, or being killed, ‘for God’s sake’ is a guarantee of a glorious redemption and salvation for one’s immortal soul.

This action of deliberately surrendering one’s responsibility is predicated on believing in the ancient ignorant beliefs and superstitions of good and evil spirits, Forces or Beings as the underlying cause of the animal-instinctual savage and tender passions in operation in human beings. As such, to hold any skerrick of belief in any of the ‘I-am-the-one-and-only’ type Gods – by whatever name – is to renounce responsibility for one’s actions and ignore the fact that every flesh and blood human is automatically driven by instinctual animal passions. These passions arise from a genetically-encoded very crude program instilled by ‘blind’ nature purely in order to ensure the survival of the strongest (i.e. most brutish) of the species. Animal ‘evolution’ in action is not a pretty business ...

Last century, when the last world war after the ‘War to end all Wars’ finished and yet another (Cold) War developed with each side playing a game called MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction – many people who were desperate for peace on earth turned their backs on Western Religion and adopted Eastern ‘spirituality’ with open-hearts and lofty expectations. Given that any belief demands faith, trust, hope and unquestioning agreement, none bothered to stop and investigate the basic tenets of this ‘spiritual movement’ – Eastern religion and philosophy. The core belief that underpins Eastern religion and philosophy is that ‘who-one-truly-is’ is spirit only and one is most definitely not the body. To sustain this belief one needs to deny the body and its functions, as in ‘I am not the body, I am not the mind’, etc. This belief, if fully indulged, can lead to a state of solipsism:

Solipsism – ‘the view or theory that only the self really exists or can be known’ Oxford dictionary

which is the most extreme form of denial, pathological dissociation. This denial represents an abdication of any and all actions that ‘the body’ and ‘the mind’ happen to do for they are not ‘me’, they are but vessels for ‘my’ earthly journey or even ethereal manifestations of the real, substantive ‘Me’. This core belief in the East is most graphically seen in the teachings of Ramesh Balsekar and the wisdom and culture of Zen Buddhism.

A bit from Ramesh Balsekar which you may think of as extreme, but it is nothing other than a ‘tell it like it is’, unambiguous description of the deep-seated belief that ultimately prevents a spiritual believer for taking full responsibility for their malicious and sorrowful words, thoughts, feelings and behaviour –

[WIE]: Do you mean to say that if an individual acts in a way that ends up hurting another, then the person who did it, or, as you say, the ‘body/mind organism’ who did it, is not responsible?

[Balsekar]: What I’m saying here is that you know that ‘I’ didn’t do it. I’m not saying I’m not sorry that it hurt someone. The fact that someone was hurt will bring about a feeling of compassion and the feeling of compassion will result in my trying to do whatever I can to assuage the hurt. But there will be no feeling of guilt: I didn’t do it!

The other side of this is that an action happens which the society lauds and gives me a reward for. I’m not saying that happiness will not arise because of the reward. Just as compassion arose because of the hurt, a feeling of satisfaction or happiness may arise because of a reward. But there’ll be no pride.

[WIE]: But do you literally mean that if I go and hit someone, it’s not me doing it? I just want to get clear about this.

[Balsekar]: The original fact, the original concept still remains: you hit somebody. The additional concept arises that whatever happens is God’s will, and God’s will with respect to each body/mind organism is the destiny of that body/mind organism.

[WIE]: So I could just say, ‘Well, it was God’s will that I did that; it’s not my fault.’

[Balsekar]: Sure. An act happens because it is the destiny of this body/mind organism, and because it is God’s will. And the consequences of that action are also the destiny of that body/ mind organism.’ Interview with Ramesh Balsekar from ‘What is Enlightenment’ magazine, Moksha press. WIE is published by Andrew Cohen

The most telling expose of Zen Buddhism I have come across can be found here and, in the interests of brevity and non-repetition, I’ll let you follow it up if you are interested.

As a rough rule of thumb it is useful to bear in mind that when Western religions talk of peace they talk of ‘Rest in Peace’ as in peace after death. Peace on earth is usually only referred to when a day of reckoning happens and whichever of the ‘I-am-the-one-and-only’ type Gods returns to earth and saves His people and wipes out rest, usually in some horrific cataclysmic slaughter. When Eastern religions talk of peace they talk of ‘inner’ peace only – retreating ‘in’ to find one’s true self as a way to escape from the suffering of the material physical world. In this scenario earthly existence is seen as suffering, i.e. as earthly suffering is essential and end to it is neither desirable nor possible in this belief -system therefore peace on earth is not on the spiritual agenda. As such, to hold any skerrick of Eastern spiritual belief is to renounce the possibility of peace on earth for the utterly self’-ish feeling of ‘inner’ peace (Nirvana) and the promise of an eternal peace after death (Parinirvana).

Some interesting recent correspondence I had on a spiritual mailing list about spiritual teachings and peace can be found here.

I know that some people regard actualism as an endless repetitive denunciation of religion and spirituality but they miss the point entirely for one cannot begin to come to grips with instinctual aggression, let alone sorrow, while at the same time holding on to any religious/spiritual belief, whether it be Western or Eastern, Earth-bound or inter-Galactic.

Becoming aware of anger in oneself is a great start – acknowledgement is an essential first step in any cure. For those who have trod the Eastern spiritual path this step seems almost an impossibility for they have been so immersed in the practice of denial that the program has become both automatic and overwhelming. Not only did I have to take this step of abandoning the spiritual path, but then I came across the suppressed underlying Western-spiritual feelings of guilt and shame that shrouded, inhibited and crippled my common sense investigations of aggression and anger.

These investigations are not for the faint of heart, but the reward of an actual peace on earth, in this lifetime, as this flesh and blood body, is now, for the very first time, alluringly available ... and the tantalizing prospect that this could spread like a chain letter around the world over time is breathtaking in its implications.

PETER: The other reaction I became aware of was a feeling of jealousy that I had of the special relationship she had with her son. It was an instinctual bond and therefore was stronger and overrode the relationship that I had with her. There is a good deal of statistical evidence that points to outbreaks of violence towards stepchildren caused either by jealousy or innate intolerance.

GARY: Yes, I am still investigating the jealousy angle to this. I did identify a feeling of jealousy towards their special relationship and she and I discussed it some. One thing that is even harder for me to own up to is that I am probably angry at her for having this kind of relationship, one that I do not feel I had growing up. So, in spite of my liking to tell myself that I have resolved my childhood hurts, they are apparently still there, rearing their ugly head again and again. I remember one of the things Richard said to me in my correspondence on the other list that hit me like a ton of bricks: he said ‘There are no childhood hurts extant in this flesh and blood body’. I still do not understand how this is possible.

I have often thought that this is one of those things one never gets over, if one has been traumatized by abuse or exploitation, or any number of things, one must carry this around for a lifetime, with the best one can expect to be a kind of gradual healing, like the healing of a physical scar, but with the scar nevertheless a visible reminder to oneself and others of a painful past. To hear that these hurts can be expunged completely and totally, to vanish without a trace, is, to put it mildly, a thrilling prospect.

PETER: The nature vs. nurture debate in psychology and sociology has raged for centuries, yet the curious thing is that it has always really been a one-sided debate. Moral and ethical considerations, combined with spiritual and religious beliefs, have always prevented a sensible and clear-eyed assessment of the primary and overarching role of genetically-encoded instinctual passions in human behaviour. That we were ‘born in sin’ is acknowledged in many religions as an excuse for the earthly behaviour of God’s creatures which only gives rise to primal feelings of guilt and shame in many Western societies. The current fashion for Eastern spiritual belief has given a shot in the arm for the Nurturists with the popularization of the Tabula Rasa theory, whereby we are supposedly born ‘innocent’ and corrupted by wrongly identifying with the physical world.

This Tabula Rasa revival has given rise to many psycho/spiritual therapies that offer to dredge up memories of past childhood hurts, on the basis that a healing, resolution or ‘completion’, with a subsequent wiping the slate clean feeling of regaining lost innocence. This practice has been the subject of much controversy as to the validity and accuracy of many memories recalled, the motives and competency of the practitioners, and the effectiveness of either emotional release or hidden memory recall in bringing about any healing, resolution or change.

Personally in my investigations into my psyche, I found it unnecessary to go back into childhood memories or past hurts. ‘How am I experiencing this moment of time’ has always served to keep me busy with the immediate and I found that the most I ever had to skip back was a few days to discover what was causing me to be either unhappy or malicious. Then, when I recognized the incident, reaction, onset of a mood, etc. and I could label it as jealousy, resentment, feeling inferior etc. I was then able to recall similar events and times when exactly the same event had arisen to make me sad or make me angry at someone. Then it simply became a matter of – ‘how long am I going to go on doing this same thing, how many times is this going to go on before I stop’. Once one dares to acknowledge, recognize, and catalogue the debilitating role that feelings play in one’s life it then becomes impossible to be the way you were – one has begun the process of radical and irrevocable change.

One of the more curious aspects of the human brain, if I have understood it properly and if it is indeed factual, is that the primitive brain seems to have its own separate memory which is an emotional-only memory of past events. There is also evidence that any long-term memory recall is very short on factual detail and further, that we only recall the last time we remembered the event rather than being able to trace back to the original event. Thus it is that these past memories are primarily psychological and psychic in nature, i.e. they are ‘my’ often irrational and largely emotional memories. When a present event triggers an automatic kick-in of an instinctual reaction it activates an emotion-backed thought in the neo-cortex, and this often opens a floodgate, as it were, and we get past emotional memories flooding in as well. Many people also access these emotional memories deliberately as they like the bitter-sweet feelings of sorrow or grief, or lusty feelings of anger and revenge.

But generally what happens with a triggering event is that we get a first hit of feeling reinforced by feelings from the past which serves to create and affirm a very-real chemical-backed ‘me’ stretching out over a time period we fondly, or despairingly, call ‘my’ life.

To actively dredge up past memories does nothing but keep ‘me’ in existence as a psychological and psychic entity. They are best nipped in the bud as quickly as possible so that one can focus one’s attention and awareness on the main event – one’s happiness and harmlessness now.

I can attest to the fact that with the diminishing of ‘me’ as a credible entity, these emotional memories do indeed wither. An actual memory of people, things and events still exist, but they have no emotional component. Undeniably it was this flesh and blood body that was there, did those things, met those people, but it was someone else who suffered those hurts, who had those feelings, who felt lost, lonely and frightened. This is not in any way the formation of a new dissociate identity, or a denial of anything that happened in the past – it is simply that it as though all emotional content of my memory has been erased. It was not me, as-I am-now, who suffered and caused others to suffer. It was the Peter who started this process of ‘self’-immolation.

Good Hey.

It’s always important to acknowledge how much change for the better has happened, to pat one’s back as it were, for it is a sensible acknowledgement of success – the very substance of the confidence needed to go even further.

GARY: There is one other thing, Peter, that I would like to explore with you and others. There is a sexual instinctive drive in humans. Of that, we are all quite aware. This is the same drive (desire) that causes the male to want to impregnate females (of course I have not considered what the drive is in homosexual individuals, perhaps it is similar or the same but the object is different). In your book, in the chapter on sex, you commented on the pervasiveness of the sexual instinctual drive, the power of this drive, and the central importance of the drive in human affairs. It is indeed a powerful drive, and there are many social mores and customs in place in human society to curb the sexual instinctual drive and regulate it, the institution of marriage and monogamous relationships being one notable example. It is also known that, as far as the physiology of sex, that in human beings sex is subject to considerable cortical control.

PETER: By control, are you relating to the types of experiments whereby a mouse when wired up with electrodes to its sexual pleasure centre in the brain will continually press a button such that it overdoses on sexual pleasure to the point of ignoring the other button that gives it food. I would suggest that human beings may stop short of killing themselves in an experimental situation like this because human beings, unlike the mouse, have the ability to think and reason, but I would not be sure in some cases. If a similar experiment was conducted on human beings, it would be considered unethical, but I am reminded of Milgram’s experiment that I related to in my journal (‘Peace’ chapter), which is why I say I could not be sure of human reactions in a sex vs. food test.

GARY: For instance, castration does not obliterate the sexual drive in humans but does in animals. Apparently there is a lot about sex that goes on in the higher brain centres.

PETER: I have no knowledge at all about sexual physiology in animals, but given they have an instinctual-only brain, if one obliterated the sex drive, end of story. Presumably, by what you are saying, castration can completely remove the sex-drive in animals. The question would then be, does castration remove the instinctual sex-drive in humans? I have heard that castratos remain interested in sex, but I don’t know if their sexual interest is instinctive or cerebral-only. I guess the only way to determine this would be to wire someone up who had been castrated so as to see whereabouts in the brain the lights lit up.

My experience when ‘I’ was normal was that it was impossible to distinguish between feelings arising from the instinctual passions and what was sensate pleasure and clear thinking, for they were all one muddled intertwined mess. The whole point of the actualism method when investigating the sexual instinct is to unravel this mess and eliminate the brutish senseless passion such that sensuous sexual pleasure is free to be what it is – innocent frivolous play. Sex certainly is one of the most interesting investigations for it is one of the most physical, and if you are having sex regularly, the investigation can be intense with no time-off, so to speak. It also directly involves another person, which means there is no place to hide, no avoidance possible. I encountered very intense periods particularly when tackling the morals and taboos that have enshrouded human sexuality in shame and guilt, fear and trepidation, imagination and fantasy. It was as though I had literally stirred up the whole of the church and faced its awesome psychic powers of condemnation, and then it was as though I stirred up the Devil and encountered hellish realms of perversion and damnation. Beneath this again was a level of brutal animal aggression and bestiality. Once I had discovered the raw instinctive level the only thing remaining was investigating imagination and fantasy and then daring to be let my guard down and be intimate during the most direct one to one activity two human beings can do. Skin on skin and sharing and mixing bodily fluids is as intimate as it gets and the transition from raw and naked to free mutual playfulness took a while.

I have written of this before, whereby there is an initial exciting breakthrough with investigations and then there is a remaining ghost-like weirdness that prevails that could be described metaphorically as deleting the substance of a computer program but a few files float around for a while causing trouble and confusion. There is a strangeness that is not only disconcerting but disorienting, as familiar program after program falls to pieces to be replaced by nothing – no new psychological or psychic program at all. The only orientation one has is what is actual and that can only be experienced in this moment.

GARY: My question is this: if the sexual instinctual drive is eliminated, with the other instincts, what is left? Is there enjoyment of sex? Is one rather indifferent about sex? I doubt then that there would be a ‘drive’ underlying sexual behaviour, the ‘drive’ having been eliminated. One would not fantasize about sex, as one often does many times, because the intuitive/imaginal faculty would have been eliminated. With the sexual instinctual drive gone, eliminated, I would think that one would be rather indifferent to sex. What do you think?

PETER: What I have discovered is when the sexual imperative disappears it becomes utterly clear that sex is not an essential need such as food or sleep. When it is not an essential need and there is no blind drive to have or want it, then it becomes an optional pleasure in a literal cornucopia of sensate pleasures. The particularly delicious thing about sex freed of the instinctual drive is that it is not a necessity for then it becomes what it is – one on one intimate innocent play. It is body pleasuring body, mutually agreed, freely given and taken, sensuous pleasure, never the same, always fresh. And the sheer sensual overload results in a post-sex looseness and limpness of the body, with the brain awash in serotonin or dopamine or whatever chemical it is.

I always wanted to get to the core of my inevitable frustration and failure with sex, and now I get to reap the rewards of my efforts every time we play.

Good hey.


PETER: Courage and intelligence has a way of eventually winning out over brute fear and superstition – a brief view of the facts of history attests to this. We don’t live in caves and hunt like animals anymore, we just instinctually act as if we do because that is the way we have been programmed to act. It is if of no use at all to feel guilt or shame about this genetic programming, or feel resentful or be cynically embittered about one’s lot in life – the situation we find ourselves in calls for an unfettered investigation and the instigation of sensible action such that we can become free of this condition we are all inevitably born into.

GARY: You are optimistic. Usually when I look at the facts of history, I see brute fear and superstition winning out over courage and intelligence. I say that because I see that the human species has been unable to, despite the ardent hopes of many for a solution, end war and eliminate violence. If we as a species were so intelligent, we would have learned something from all this bloodshed down through the ages. Perhaps I am being a pessimist. It is true that we don’t live in caves and hunt like animals anymore, but doesn’t the observation that we instinctually act as if we do negate your observation about courage and intelligence? Maybe, though, I am taking this the wrong way.

PETER: I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither a soothsayer nor a doomsdayer, neither gullible nor cynical. What I am is naïve. For whatever reason I could not fully turn away into acceptance and the escapist fantasy of the spiritual world, nor was I sucked into resignation and the fatalistic cynicism of the real world.

Methinks you are thus far underestimating the significance of actualism and its tried and tested method of eliminating malice and sorrow, which is more than understandable. This is no little thing we do here – the very beginnings of the ending of war, rape, murder, torture, child abuse, corruption, despair and suicide is being forged on this mailing list.

It’s the only game to play in town.

PETER: Hi Gary,

Whenever an adult observes a child there can be a degree of envy at what seems to be a carefree state. This is due to the fact that the instinctual animal ‘self’ is not substantially formed until about age 2 in children, i.e. the instinctual passions of fear, aggression, nurture and desire are not yet fully functioning. The other relevant aspect is that the child’s social identity – the befuddled mishmash of an individualistic persona and a collective social conscience – is not yet fully formed until the age of about 7 years, which means much of the childhood years are spent in ignorance of the grim everyday reality that every adult experiences. <snip>

GARY: The envy can be for the child’s spontaneity and energy – they seem to have an inexhaustible supply of spontaneity, wonder, and excitement. And children can say things that are remarkably perceptive and ‘off the cuff’. This contrasts with the adult mode of functioning which seems to be ever-vigilant lest one defies some social convention or one of one’s imbibed and socially inculcated ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘ought to’ irrational beliefs. The spontaneity of childhood is soon enough trained out of one by one’s teachers, parents, etc. and the social identity becomes calcified and rigid. Then people try, through various means, to regain that ‘lost innocence’ but never seem to succeed.

PETER: It has been a good many years since my days of being a father, but I have recently had occasion to observe a 2½ year old, which rekindled my memory of my own children. What I observed is that there is a ‘natural’ – as in instinctually programmed – emergence of a very distinct ‘self’-awareness at about this age. There is a growing realization in all children that others think and feel differently to them – that other children, parents and adults, are separate and alien beings who had thoughts and feelings that were not only different but very often at odds with the child’s own thoughts and feelings. This stage of growing up sees the emergence of a natural cunning in the child, whereby the child learns by trial and error to be controlling and manipulative – to seek reward and avoid punishment by whatever means.

Whilst this ‘loss of innocence’ is to some extent socially learned by the child’s observation of parents, siblings and other children’s behaviour, the underlying and primary impetus is instinctual – the result of a natural development of rudimentary survival skills as opposed to imbibing social skills. Observation of other animal species confirms that both cunning and forcefulness are essential qualities needed to enhance the chances of any newborn animal’s survival and an observation of human infants reveals this same basic animal functioning at work.

I remember seeing in my own children the emergence of what could be described as an independent will at about age 2 – an independence that was definitely not taught, as it was very often displayed in behaviour and moods that were contrary to the children’s social training and the best intentions and efforts of both parents. This observation, combined with the fact that my two children had such distinct and divergent personalities, first led me to be suspicious of the nurture-can-cure-all belief.

After my younger son died, I found that I really had to question and examine this belief deeply or else I would have spent the rest of my life wallowing in guilt and sorrow because I had not been ‘loving’ enough as a parent. The belief that nurture can counter, cure or overcome the instinctual passions of malice and sorrow serves to cripple all parents and child carers with guilt, as well as being an all-to-convenient excuse for the human need to lay the blame at someone’s door rather than look deeply within themselves.

Having previously experienced that nurture fails to shelter children from the ills of humanity, the death of my son convinced me that I needed to devote my life to seeking a way to open the possibility for future children to escape from suffering the inevitable trails and traumas of being a human being within the human condition. My father’s advice to me, post Second World War, was ‘be happy’ but he wasn’t able to tell me ‘how to’. Standing beside my son’s coffin, I was suddenly faced with a task in life – I passionately wanted to be able to pass on to the next generation the missing ‘how to’.

I know I am at risk of labouring the point about nurture as the cure-all, but I do so with good reason. Understanding and acknowledging the fact that the genetically-encoded instinctual passions were the root cause of human malice and sorrow – the root cause of every war, of every murder, of every child molestation, of every rape, of every suicide, of every act of violence, of every bout of despair – was crucial to my turning away from being a believer in the tried and failed truisms and beginning to looking deep within myself in order to root out these instinctual passions.

GARY: I seem to recall, as a child, having times when I had the most intense fascination with what I was doing at the time, whether I was playing with something or studying something, or just experiencing something. Later, these experiences I tried to re-create through drug use. The ordinary cares and woes fell away and there was this intense fascination and absorption in the moment and what I was experiencing. Later, and more recently, I found in the Pure Consciousness Experience what I was looking for: this incredible vibrancy, aliveness, scintillating, coruscating (all those Richard-words and more to describe the experience) quality. It is the most amazing thing when one shifts into apperception, and one experiences naiveté.

It is not for nothing that Richard describes naiveté as ‘the closest approximation to innocence one can have whilst being a ‘self’’. In this state of naiveté, there is such an experience of wonder and one is in touch immediately with the purity and pristine-ness of the physical actuality of the world around one. When this happens, one has connected with the long-sought Meaning of Life. The search is over – there is nowhere else to go.

PETER: One thing about the spiritual path that did not sit well with me, apart from feeling increasingly isolated and dissociated from the world of people, things and events, was the fundamental cynicism that underpins all spiritual belief – that the human experience is one of essential suffering. Because of this spiritual cynicism about life on earth meeting Richard, hearing of his experiences and reading his words was quite literally a breath of fresh air.

By taking on board what he had to say, and being able to relate to what he was saying by my own experience in a PCE, I was very soon able set off on the path to actual freedom. In doing so, I was able to forgo my cynicism and reconnect with my naiveté, I was able to cease practicing dissociation and begin being fascinated with being here, and I was able to begin the enthralling business of investigating all of ‘my’ beliefs and passions that make ‘me’ an inseparable constituent of the human condition of malice and sorrow.

Cynicism is the pits. It’s so delicious to have abandoned cynicism, to get in touch with my naiveté and devote myself fully to the business of becoming free from malice and sorrow.

RESPONDENT: You clearly have the opinion that I No 12 am responsible personally for all the wars and rape and sorrow on the planet – I must be according to your ideal, mustn’t I?

PETER: This is perhaps one of most extreme extrapolations you have yet come up with.

No single person is at fault, no single person is guilty. Everybody, without exception, is born with a genetically-encoded animal- instinctual compulsive program which is then overlaid by social/religious conditioning – we all had no say in the matter at all.

What Richard discovered is that you can safely undo all this programming, such that you can become what you are, as opposed to ‘who’ blind nature fated you to be and ‘who’ your peers insisted you should be. Nothing spiritual in this at all – it’s the equivalent of hitting the delete button every time you come across a bit of this programming until it ceases to function as a cohesive whole. The remaining bits float around for a while causing only minor nuisances and eventually even these disappear, leaving one totally free from any social/religious or animal/instinctual programming whatsoever, i.e. free from the human condition of malice and sorrow

Actualism is about freeing oneself from the programming that gives rise to such debilitating and crippling feelings as guilt, shame, resentment, anger, sorrow, despair, loneliness and fear such that one can become what one is rather than ‘who’ you think and feel you are. To take this instinctual and social programming personally is to take one’s self far too seriously. (...)


RESPONDENT: I have stated repeatedly that your attitude is what is STANDING in the WAY of peace on earth. Get rid of the attitude that our system of belief, or our path or our master or our Richard is the DEFINITIVE WAY ... and we are well on the way to peace on earth. When I was a child I was Baptist. I was taught to believe I was guilty (responsible for all the war and rape and sorrow on earth) and that I could be saved (get rid of self); and that Jesus is the only one who is perfectly acceptable to god (Richard).

PETER: Then why would you want to stay feeling guilty by inventing yet another God (Richard) simply in order to feel guilty, yet again?

It is you who keep insisting that actualism is somehow spiritualism in disguise and who keeps imagining Richard to be God and deriding me for being a Disciple. It is all your own invented viewpoint that has nought to do with what is on offer on this mailing list.

To reiterate, actualism is about freeing oneself from the programming that gives rise to such feelings as guilt, shame, resentment, anger, sorrow, despair, loneliness and fear such that one can become what one is rather than ‘who’ you think and feel you are. To take this programming personally is to take one’s self far too seriously.

But I do totally agree with you about believing in Gods – holding any such beliefs can only perpetuate misery and suffering, guilt and shame. Holding any spiritual/religious beliefs can only stand in the way of peace on earth.

As I wrote to No 3 the other day –

[Peter]: The belief in God is so insidious that it permeates every aspect of the human condition. If people haven’t got a God they invariably feel that their life is meaningless, if they don’t like their parents’ God they invariably devote their latter years searching for a God they like, if they don’t like any of the human-type Gods they invariably revert to making things or animals or the planet itself into Gods.

Love them or hate them, praise them or damn them, pursue them or flee from them – these imaginary little critters or ethereal spirits or father figures or mother figures or departed souls or guiding lights or supreme intelligences or manifestations of goodness or God-realized beings so dominate the human psyche that it is nigh on impossible for human beings to clearly see the world as it actually is.

It’s so good to be free of the God trap and to be aware that either believing in an imaginary God, in whatever form and by whatever name, or riling against an imaginary God, in whatever form and by whatever name, is patently nonsensical ... and an utter waste of time that could be better be spent becoming happy and harmless in the world as-it-is, with people as-they-are. Peter, The Actual Freedom Trust Mailing List, No 3, 28.6.2001

PAUL LOWE: Chapter Two Uncovering the Love

When I look at people, I have the knack of seeing beyond the personal identities that most of you confuse for yourself. And all that I see is love. That is what I see and that is what I have to share. You are in pain and you do not need to suffer. You are in distress and there is no need for it, for you are love. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live

PETER: Sounds a lot like a judgement to me but I guess it’s a ‘loving’ judgement.

PAUL LOWE: There is nothing you can do about love, because that is who you are, that is what you are made of and every cell in your body vibrates in love. You have forgotten this, but one day you will remember. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live

PETER: Literally billions of people have attempted to remember and practiced assiduously to become this love again and the success rate is estimated at .0001% – those who have managed the delusion of Enlightenment compared with those who have suffered on the spiritual path. The facts belie the myth that humans are ‘love’, they cannot even manage to live together in anything remotely resembling peace and harmony and the spiritual people are amongst the worst examples of peace and harmony in action. The ‘Holier than Thou’ Masters then blame their followers for not getting ‘it’ and the guilt that arises quickly silences any questioning of the message and any scrutiny of the messenger.

PAUL LOWE: The encouragement is for us to be more present, more aware of what is going on, all the time. The difficulty is this: the mind functions on the premise that it has to think about things and so the mind is identifying and naming everything continuously, registering whether it is safe or threatened. The mind does not see reality, it sees its concept of reality. It sees everything in terms of good and bad, right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate that it has learned from someone else. It labels everything according to other people’s ideas. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live

PETER: This primitive view of the mind directly results from the ancient ignorant view that the mind is the source of evil thoughts and the heart or soul is the source of good feelings. The mind – the functioning brain – is a physical organ in the body that is the central processing unit for an astonishing sensorial input of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, and it has the ability, unique among the animal species, of being able to think, plan, reflect, communicate and be aware of itself in operation. And this is what Eastern religion would have us ignore! This collecting of living cells that is so complex, so wondrous, so astounding is to be ignored in favour of identifying with the good instinctual passions and imagining oneself so good, so above it all and so disconnected that one believes oneself to be the ‘source’ – God by another name.


PAUL LOWE: Let your side of it go. Feel your heart. Take a few minutes. As you look, you might find an intense feeling inside because in that incident you felt pain. You felt your aloneness, your unworthiness, your indignation. <Snip> Take a look at letting it all go now. Experiment with not holding on to it any longer and see how you feel. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live

PETER: One would have felt aloneness for the simple reason that humans are angry and resentful at those they are supposed to love. The instinctual passions of fear and aggression very often override the feelings of nurture and desire, most particularly when the initial chemical rushes decline with time and familiarity. By unworthiness, I take it, he means guilt for exhibiting such base feelings as anger and resentment despite our societal training to be good and repress these passions. By indignation, I take it, he means taking offence from what was done, said or thought by another human being to you.

Feelings are the bane of Humanity and it is time to be rid of the whole rotten lot, rather than practice these games that do nothing but indulge and gratify one’s ‘self’ as a transcendental being – who feels ‘above it all’.

It’s a bit like wading through a cesspool, ignoring the really bad and claiming the better pieces for oneself.

PAUL LOWE: One stage you may move through is forgiveness. Another stage is gratefulness. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live

PETER: By practicing forgiveness one then expands the feeling of compassion for those still concerned about and ‘attached to’ their anger and resentment – one then feels sorry for, and pity towards, those ‘less conscious’ than you.

From practicing gratitude comes the feeling that there is a something or someone that one needs to bow down and prostrate oneself before. Gratitude is a way of turning away from the ‘real’ world and pumping up feelings of unconditional love directed at an imaginary ‘source’. This love is unrequited for there is no chance of it being returned, and unconditional for there is no-one or no-thing to put conditions upon it. No wonder it is so popular – you get to feel good about loving nothing. Pity about the loyalty, jealousy, resentment, dependency, etc., that inevitably come with this love and gratitude ... and that cause the religious persecutions, discriminations, fanaticism, wars, etc.

PAUL LOWE: Somewhere inside ourselves we are all looking to let go, to finish with the unpleasant past. Then we can start again. Right now, you can start your life anew. Paul Lowe, In Each Moment – A New Way to Live

PETER: The spiritual Gurus preach that human anger, violence and aggression are the result of the inevitable conditioning of one’s pure soul since birth, that anger, violence and aggression are an unchangeable part of the ‘design of this dimension’, and that one can transcend these bad feelings simply by letting them go. Put even more bluntly – ‘acceptance and the expansion produce the good feelings.’ Good feelings can then be expanded into Grand feelings and Grand feelings can expand into ... ‘Oh God, I am feeling Good’ then ‘Oh good, I am feeling God’, and for the chosen few – ‘Oh God, I am God ... oh .. Very Good!’

Of course, this is the world of institutionalized insanity – the spiritual world – and, as such, it’s so easy to poke fun of. It would all be a joke except for the fact of the appalling human suffering and misery that is enshrined and perpetuated by the God-men and their followers.

Up until now the only escape from the real world has been into a world of fantasy – the spiritual world. There is, however, a third world, this actual world of purity and perfection that is inaccessible to the alien entity that dwells within the human flesh and blood body – ‘who’ you think and feel you are. The usurper, the impostor, the spoiler, the fake, the sham, the phoney, the charlatan, the fraud.

So, to recap a little on what is being revealed in this review:

  • From the last post, we saw that whenever the spiritualists use of the word ‘awareness’ what they really mean is narrowing or restricting one’s awareness, turning in and disconnecting from the outer physical world of people, things and events.
  • From this post we see that whenever the spiritualists use the word ‘consciousness’ they mean ‘who’ they feel they are – the soul, the feeling part of the entity. When they practice ‘expanding consciousness’ they are practicing self-expansion which can only lead to self-aggrandizement.

An Actualist is careful and accurate in the use and meaning of words. For the spiritualist the misuse and disregard of words and avoiding sensible communication is necessary in order to get away with what they do. An Actualist does not play this game for one would then only be fooling oneself – a sad state of affairs indeed.

The wide and wondrous path to Actual Freedom is a search for what is genuine, sensible, down-to-earth, authentic, unadulterated, factual, verifiable and actual and, as such, involves the systematic observation, investigation and elimination of all that is false.

Which is why self-immolation is the inevitable result.

PAUL LOWE: Somewhere inside ourselves we are all looking to let go, to finish with the unpleasant past. Then we can start again. Right now, you can start your life anew.

PETER: The spiritual Gurus preach that human anger, violence and aggression are the result of the inevitable conditioning of one’s pure soul since birth, that anger, violence and aggression are an unchangeable part of the ‘design of this dimension’, and that one can transcend these bad feelings simply by letting them go. Put even more bluntly – ‘acceptance and the expansion produce the good feelings.’ Good feelings can then be expanded into Grand feelings and Grand feelings can expand into ... ‘Oh God, I am feeling Good’ then ‘Oh good, I am feeling God’, and for the chosen few – ‘Oh God, I am God ... oh .. Very Good!’

Of course, this is the world of institutionalized insanity – the spiritual world – and, as such, it’s so easy to poke fun of. It would all be a joke except for the fact of the appalling human suffering and misery that is enshrined and perpetuated by the God-men and their followers.

Up until now the only escape from the real world has been into a world of fantasy – the spiritual world. There is, however, a third world, this actual world of purity and perfection that is inaccessible to the alien entity that dwells within the human flesh and blood body – ‘who’ you think and feel you are. The usurper, the impostor, the spoiler, the fake, the sham, the phoney, the charlatan, the fraud.


PAUL LOWE: There is no discipline from the outside. Everything comes from the inside, from consciousness. <Snip> Conscious, gentle reminders of our unconscious patterns are offered among us all about posture, about facial expressions, how we dress, tone of voice and any other habits. They are soft, supportive reminders, all of us are together in this.

PETER: To translate – One adheres to the moral and ethical codes that come from Eastern religious conditioning, and when they break down, or when one becomes ‘unconscious’, then the morals and ethics are consciously and gently reinforced by peer pressure. Sounds awfully like the ‘real world’ to me. This inner discipline is what is known as conscience – not consciousness. A conscience is instilled by parents, peers and society to keep its group members from running amok. Whether this is a Christian conscience, a Buddhist conscience or a Lowellian conscience is irrelevant. With a programmed conscience in operation, one feels guilty if one breaks the rules of the group ... ‘all of us are together in this’ ... and even more so if one dares to leave the group.

PAUL LOWE: We are disconnecting from competition, disconnecting from approval, disconnecting from the fear of disapproval. There is a total dissolving of all levels of authority. Everyone is taking responsibility. There are no morals, no taboos, no rules. There is only consciousness, sensitivity and appropriateness. 

PETER: No. One’s personal position, and power, in this type of community is judged on loyalty, goodness, givingness, lovingness, etc. and the competition is usually fierce. One’s participation in this type of community is dependent on the approval or disapproval of one’s peers and, as such, the usual sucking up, power plays and manoeuvring are part and parcel of all spiritual communities. It is, of course, all nicely sugar-coated but scratch beneath the surface, or dare to take a clear-eyed look, and it is obvious that the Human Condition is sublimated not eliminated.

When these communities form there is a strict hierarchy of authority as they are centred around an ultimate authority – God or a living God-man. If it is a living God-man then his authority is direct, obvious and supreme, even if it is unspoken. The curious thing is that, while the God-man’s authority is supreme, his responsibility is nil for if anything goes wrong it is always the disciple’s fault for not being conscious enough, not being surrendered enough, not being loyal enough, not being aware enough, etc.

When the Guru or God-man dies then some other person rules the roost by assuming the mantle of being the earthly representative of the dead God and he or she usually usurps the God’s power by lineage, channelling, faithfully carrying on ‘the work’, etc. All of the members of these communities literally surrender and bow down to this ultimate authority and this act of sublimation forms the very glue of the community. One’s own interests are surrendered to a higher cause and one surrenders all responsibility for one’s own actions, so much so, that, when push comes to shove, one is even willing to kill or be killed in order to protect one’s God or Guru, or to protect their reputation.

As for ‘there are no morals, no taboos, no rules’ ... these communities inevitably abound with morals, taboos and rules which are all reinforced and maintained by one’s peers, albeit in a ‘conscious gentle’ way.

As for ‘there is only consciousness, sensitivity and appropriateness’ ... to be a member of any these exclusive communities is to deliberately disassociate oneself from the world as-it-is; from people, things and events in the ‘outside’ world. One becomes obsessively ‘self’-conscious and in order to balance this one is encouraged to adopt a ‘group’-consciousness, as in feeling at-one-with everyone else in the group. The exclusive feeling of oneness is born of this action. One’s consciousness becomes awash with emotion and feeling and one’s awareness is totally ‘self-centred to the point where one becomes a feeling entity only. One deliberately moves one’s identity from ‘who’ one thinks one is to ‘who’ one feels one is. To use the spiritual terms, one dissolves one’s ego and becomes one’s soul – ‘who’ you feel you really and truly are, deep down inside.

One also becomes cut-off, or insensitive to the world as-it-is, and to those who believe in another God than your beloved God. One does what is appropriate and loyally and faithfully obeys the particular set of morals, taboos and rules that the God-man establishes or that are embellished and amended after his death. I use the male gender in writing of the Gods for simplicity’s sake but the same applies to the followers of God-women, Guru-esses, Mothers, etc.

All religious communes suck, be they Eastern or Western. In the traditional form they were more like harsh prisons whereas nowadays it is fashionable to dress their image more as holiday camps.

Changing the packaging doesn’t change the content ... all religious communes suck. So much rubbish and twaddle is passed off as profound wisdom in spiritual belief, all in blatant denial of facts and the lessons of human experience. To read this wisdom is literally mind-boggling, which is, after all, the aim of anything spiritual.

Peter’s Selected Correspondence Index

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